Sometimes all this dampness is a lovely thing. I went to visit the gardens of Heale House in Wiltshire last weekend – not too many miles away from VP (I waved in your general direction!) in Wiltshire.
It was one of those misty mornings where the sun slants through from time to time with that veil-like effect that’s so magically romantic. This was probably not the best time of year to see Heale House – it’s a spring garden, mainly. But I was truly inspired by the kitchen garden, which was at full pelt. There’s a fab nursery attached, too, run by trillium specialist Kevin Hughes – well worth going out of your way to visit.
The gorgeous house is off limits – I did want to take a closer look at that rather elegant-looking private garden in front of it, though.
It’s quite a watery garden – the Wylye river (I think it’s called) runs through the grounds and meanders quite charmingly through the planting with multiple little bridges to cross.
But the kitchen garden really stole the show. It’s divided by these wonderful ancient apple cordons trained over arching tunnels.
The tunnels are underplanted with woodlanders – there was an oak-leaf hydrangea in full flower at the end of this section.
I liked the way they mixed ornamentals with the fruit and veg – here fluffy moppets of santolina next to the bean supports.
I thought this was a great idea, too – cordon pears trained over a framework to create a truly lovely and intimate little arbour.
More mixed planting – this time cosmos with the artichokes, and as you can see they’re just trying to establish some box for a more formal definition to the beds.
Lots of inspiration there – I’m introducing some edible planting into my own garden next year, and it just goes to show it doesn’t have to be either/or. I just wish I had the Victorian walls on three sides, plus the half-acre or so of land that they have to play with here…